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12th Mar 2017

Props to Herb Dean for recognising rare choke that put fighter to sleep

The veteran official was working at ACB in Manchester this weekend

Darragh Murphy

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Frank Mir didn’t see it coming so you know just how unusual Ali Bagov’s fight-winning choke was.

On the main card of ACB 54 in Manchester, Russia’s Bagov put Bellator veteran Bubba Jenkins to sleep in the second round.

And it came out of nowhere.

After taking Jenkins’ back Bagov appeared to be setting up an armbar, as noted by Mir, who was on commentary duty for the evening.

“Oh his arm’s going to get stretched out here,” the former UFC heavyweight champion said.

But rather than work on his opponent’s right arm, Bagov astutely dug his calf into Jenkins’ throat in a modified reverse triangle.

In a matter of moments, Jenkins’ eyes had rolled into the back of his head but it was lucky that a referee as experienced as Herb Dean was sharing the cage with the fighters as he recognised the danger and immediately pulled the submission apart once Jenkins went out.

Officiating in mixed martial arts is often a thankless task as referees deal with waves of abuse from fight fans for any contentious decisions.

So it was great to see Dean praised for his wherewithal on Saturday night.